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Harpdoctor created a new topic ' new member' in the forum. 1 hour 3 minutes ago

I just joined the club. I have been playing blues harmonica and repairing harmonicas for over 40 years, but about 5 years ago, I started playing melodies on chromatic harmonica and am looking for new songs that are tabbed for harmonica. I was hoping I could find some in this club, but don't seem to see any headings for songs. Any help would be appreciated.


I just joined the club. I have been playing blues harmonica for over 40 years, but about 5 years ago, I started playing melodies on chromatic...
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Trying my new play-along book: 'Jazz Classics'. Guess I'm not as good as I thought I was. Damn these notes come fast.

AndyT replied to the topic 'Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. 4 hours 34 minutes ago

Hi Reed,

If you are aggressive on the mouthpiece with your tongue in trumpet you are doing it wrong. Like Harmonica, on trumpet it is all about using the right embouchure and letting the air do the work. The only force comes from the diaphragm. If you are using your mouth in any forceful way (such as pushing on the mouthpiece) you are doing it wrong. Needless to say I am doing it wrong, because I have yet to develop the muscles in my lips or tongue.

So whilst you are right that force is the enemy of the harmonica player, it is also the enemy of the trumpet player (outside of the diaphragm which is the only real difference where air flow is concerned). If you rely on your mouth/tongue being aggressive and using force your chops will soon tire out and you will have to stop and rest (which we call 'busting your chops'). It is far better to let your embouchure and diaphragm do the work, then you can play for days and days (or at least I hope so).

The point of triple tonguing exercises like those in the video are to strengthen your tongue so you have more control over it, but also so you can be more flexible and relaxed when playing. These can only benefit the harmonica playing. Yes the techniques will be different, mostly because in a lot of ways the harmonica player uses their tongue in completely different ways, but the benefits of having a stronger and more flexible tongue are worth the effort.

A lot of trumpet techniques do not apply (such as pressure to keep the lips tight) but triple tonguing is appropriate I thing.



Reed Smith replied to the topic 'Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. 5 hours 30 minutes ago

@Marcy, AndyT,
The similarities in playing trumpet to harp would be air flow.
However, where on trumpet one would constrict their lips
and perhaps be aggressive with their tongue on the mouthpiece,
to do so on harmonica would be detrimental, a soft relaxed approach
will yield much greater results on harmonica. Tension, adrenaline,
too much force, are actually our enemies for harmonica. Try this:
with whatever embouchure you use, bring the harmonica as far into
your mouth as is comfortable, place you lips as softly as you can but
still maintain a proper air seal. Now as soft an air flow as possible for
the reed to respond (think HA, as if you are trying to steam up a mirror)
Soft lips, a soft attack, soft tongue on the harp, (if used) will result in much
faster articulation, better harmonics, and because you have opened your
mouth (like you are yawning) and gotten the harp inside, the resonance
chamber that is your torso you will add BASS to your tone.
Regards, Reed Smith


Reed Smith replied to the topic 'Hohner CX 12' in the forum. 5 hours 46 minutes ago

I like my CX12, I have owned it 18 years now and it has never failed.
It doesn't respond well to a pucker embouchure unless it is a deep relaxed
type. I play mostly tongue block, which by nature brings the harmonica closer
to my airflow. A deep relaxed embouchure seems to get the best response for
me on the CX12 be it tongue block or *pucker.
*I disliked the term "pucker" it connotes a constriction of the lips that will result in
a tenseness by many players, which in turn will restrict movement and fluidity for
the player. A deep relaxed "pucker" embouchure actually uses the tongue for articulation,
with the sides of the tongue slightly curled, NOT a complete Ushape on the
harp as is often what those who are trying to Ublock do. The tongue is used for note
articulation, the corners of the mouth and lips for a seal, and to center the note being
played. I switch back and forth between this embouchure and tongue blocking because
I block out of the right of my mouth and don't have enough harp body on holes 1 and 2 to
tongue block.
Reed Smith


AndyT and gunsmoke have commented on SWAPAN DEB's video 5 hours 49 minutes ago

Very nice Swapan, good tone an articulation. How are you recording these. Do you use a microphone?


Suzuki Manjhi Am, Sound track designed by Joy Nandy

Eric33 replied to the topic 'Hohner CX 12' in the forum. 8 hours 4 minutes ago

Hi Keith,
I was given one of these Hohner CX12 Harmonicas for a XMAS present about 3 years ago,and since then i think i have used it about a dozen times.I may have had a Friday night one because i can't get on with it at all.I find it hard to play due to sucking in too much air.However it is easy to strip down to clean when necessary and quite a few people i know say that it is the best thing since sliced bread,so there you have it.I have 10 Chromatics and i have been playing chromatics for many years.My recent one is a Suzuki Chromatix which i bid for in an auction at a Harmonica Weekend meeting and it is the best one i have come across,it is very responsive.I also like my Hering.It all boils down to choice and cost and how you treat them,it's all up to you.You will hear a lot of contradicting reports.I hope that whatever you decide on will be the right one.Keep puffing.Eric33.


gunsmoke added a video. 8 hours 15 minutes ago

I got the blues


gunsmoke has liked a Video 8 hours 29 minutes ago


Suzuki Manjhi Am, Sound track designed by Joy Nandy

keith created a new topic ' Hohner CX 12' in the forum. 12 hours 32 minutes ago

Does anybody on here use/own one? Are they worth the price?

I'm considering purchasing a chromatic & this seems to be a very good model; I'm thinking of a C Tenor (LC).

Any opinions about Hohner CX 12 chromatics?


Marcy replied to the topic 'Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. 16 hours 7 minutes ago

Thanks, Andy, I’ll go check out the video. I bet trumpet has a lot to do with harmonica playing. I actually bought a cornet on a whim a while back because they sound so cool. I don’t have it any more, but they’re a lot of fun and I bet the video would make sense to me after that.


AndyT replied to the topic 'Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. yesterday

Hey Marcy

To follow up on Reed's suggestion, which I'm about to try out, I've been doing some tongue exercises for trumpet, which have helped me significantly with harmonica playing. It sort of builds on the triple tongue technique Reed talks about, but for a different instrument.

Doesn't directly apply, but it's strengthened my tongue a lot, even though I still can't triple tongue on the trumpet.

Here's a YouTube vid with some techniques to practise.




Marcy replied to the topic 'Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. yesterday

Hey, Reed, I just now tried it out. That’s a great description. Thanks!


Reed Smith replied to the topic 'Another Amp Question' in the forum. yesterday

I am looking at a *Quilter Aviator 8. It is 100 watts into a special designed 8" speaker.
It is solid state, but if you checkout what "Harpsucker" is doing with one in regards to
tone on youtube, well, it changed my views on solid state. I have been a tube guy since forever,
but at less than thirty pounds, but with a ton of TONE, I now must have a Quilter.
I see an Aviator 8 on E(vil)bay for less than $400.00. It has all the bells and whistles
you've stated, Quilter amps is the s^*t, check em out.
Anybody looking for a 71 Super Reverb 4X10, with a new tube job? A Garnet gnome
with a Weber 10pq w/Hdustcap, and 12" extension cabinet? They have to go to make
room for a Quilter. :lol:


Reed Smith replied to the topic 'Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. yesterday

I use my tongue for fast articulation. I use the area of the tongue known as the "H spot"
this is just behind the tip on top of the tongue. Mouth the letter H, now you know where
the "H spot" is. I breath the harmonica, using minimal force, I try consciously to not tense
up my embouchure in any way but to stay relaxed, with as light a touch on the harp as is
possible, yet still maintain a complete air seal with my lips. A good little practice tip to work
on for increasing speed is to do triplet runs from the scale you are playing (Major Pentatonic?)
Start on the first note of the scale and play the next two along with it as a triplet, dah, dah, dah,
then the second note of the scale along with the next two notes, you get the idea. I play them up
and down, slowly at first gaining speed incrementally as my muscle memory kicks in.
Hope this helps in some small way.
Regards, Reed


Marcy created a new topic ' Note Articulation When Playing Fast' in the forum. yesterday

Hey, here’s a question… I’ve been playing fiddle tunes on the harmonica with the metronome for weeks now and have built up to a reasonable speed on several of my favorites. When you play fast, do you find that it sounds best to articulate notes with your tongue Or do you articulate rapid strings of notes mainly by using your diaphragm? Thanks in advance for any tips.


AndyT replied to the topic 'Greetings from Nottingham, UK' in the forum. yesterday

Welcome Alan

I lived in Beeston for three years back in the 90s. At least you'll have plenty of time indoors to practise.

First bit of advice is to have patience, give yourself time to master the basics.



Alanf3apm created a new topic ' Greetings from Nottingham, UK' in the forum. 2 days ago

Just a quick hello from sunny Nottingham, here in the UK. That's sarcasm, btw. Keen to learn the blues on the harp. Got a big river C on order so looking forward to seeing if I can learn both the guitar and the harp in parallel... Looking for good tabs and advice on technique... Cheers!